Chauffeur Service in Ireland.
Ever want to tour the Emerald Isle but don’t quite know where to start? Here’s a guide to a week in the South-West of Ireland and a chance to fit in as much as possible in 7 days!
Shannon Airport in Co.Clare is a very central place to fly in to and the main airport that serves the South-West. Its’ convenient location means your sight-seeing can begin straight away. The friendliness and warmth of this airport will put you at ease straight away and it’s a lovely taste of the welcome (fáilte) you get in Ireland. It is Ireland’s main gateway to and from the U.S. and was the world’s first airport to have duty-free shopping. When you arrive in Ireland have a private driver greet you and have a stress-free start to your trip.
A week will fly by when you’re having fun, so start the touring straight away. Go straight from the airport to nearby Dromoland Castle for refreshments fit for a King and Queen! Even if you are not choosing to stay there during your trip, this exquisite castle will help you unwind after travelling. It is a 5 star luxury hotel but also steeped in history that dates back to the 5th Century. Kings of Thomond descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, once lived here and you get a sense of the royal lineage throughout this magnificent castle and grounds.
After some relaxation in Dromoland travel the short distance to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Bunratty means the ‘end of the ratty’ (river) in Irish and the river can be seen surrounding the castle. The castle was built in 1425 and is a very popular tourist attractions. It hosts a medieval banquet, guests dine at banquet tables in the castle while drinking traditional Irish mead and listening to historical Irish music. The castle and the Folk park are very unique and charming. When walking through the folk park it’s like stepping back in time, there are a number of houses all decorated to an older day and highlight the difference in living standards. There is also a post office, a school house, a doctor’s house and many more fascinated places to freely walk around in this Folk park. A short walk from the Folk park is Blarney Woolen Mills were you can indulge in some duty-free shopping for some original Irish gifts to bring home. After you first day of touring you’ll look forward to some much needed rest to be fresh for the next day of exploring!
Start the day with a trip to the Cliffs of Moher in county Clare. The gigantic cliffs are 702 feet tall and stretch over 8 kilometers along the Atlantic coast. There is a safe path that leads the way and on a fine day you can take in the breath-taking views of scenery near and far. It’s the perfect view-point of the Southwest. On site there is also a visitor centre with a cafe and shop, the centre hosts interesting artefacts and information on local history.
The Burren National Park from the Irish word ‘boireann’ meaning rocky place, and it certainly is! Mainly formed of limestone rock the Burren stretches over 15,000 Acres and is the smallest National Park in Ireland. There have been many tombs found around the Burren, made from the rocks, the famous being the Portal Dolmen, proving people have lived in the Burren for over 5,000 years. It’s a very different landscape for Ireland as there’s no lush green grass and it’s easy to forget the the vast area of rock landscape is still the Emerald Isle. Nearby in the heart of the Burren is the Aillwee Cave, one of the oldest caves in Ireland, view the frozen waterfall in the glorious underground and even the skeletal remains of the extinct brown bear! Also featuring outside by the cave is the fantastic Birds of Prey centre, see varied species of birds fly and feast!
The next day of touring brings you a bit further South to Killarney in the county Kerry, the gateway to the Ring of Kerry. Killarney town is centred in the Killarney National Park. There are so many activities and sight’s to see in Killarney. Ladies view (named after Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting) and the nearby Ross Castle are just outside Killarney town. Here are a few more picturesque places to visit.
The beautiful Muckross House is a 19th Century victorian mansion. It was designed by famous architect William Burn and took 4 years to complete. Work commenced on the gardens 11 years before the expected arrival of Queen Victoria in 1861. The magnificent mansion and lavish gardens are worth taking the time to see.
They say all waterfalls should be viewed after heavy rainfall, this is not a problem in Ireland and Killarney is no exception! Torc means ‘wild boar’ in Gaelic, legend has it that a man was bewitched and turned into a boar, he burst into flames and was plunged into devil punchbowl lake and the waterfall was formed. TheTorc Waterfall is just outside Killarney but, with a private driver, you’ll have no problem finding this spectacular waterfall. It rises 70 to 80 feet high and if you walk a little bit further up some steps, you see the surrounding breathtaking views. A must-see in Killarney.
This family run sheep farm is about 15 minutes outside Killarney town, you can witness sheep-shearing and sheep dog trials, definitely not something you’d see everyday! Moll’s gap also runs through this property with more ancestral history that connects the Sheep farm to Killarney. It’s a lovely taste of traditional Ireland and you can even adopt a sheep!
The following day of exploring brings you to the extraordinary Dingle Peninsula (Chorca Dhuibhne, in Irish) . On the edge of the great Atlantic Ocean it’s as far west as you can go in Ireland. Dingle is a popular fishing village packed with restaurants and pubs, it also has it’s own aquarium. No visit to Dingle is complete without seeing the famous Fungie the Dolphin. Here are just some of the places to tour there.
The Slea Head drive is a fantastic loop that will bring you to the must-see historical sites, villages and scenic views that this extraordinary Peninsula has to to offer. The historical Dunbeg fort with it’s bird-eye views on the edge of a cliff and beehive huts. Also along this spectacular loop there’s the Gallarus Oratory, one of the first churches in Ireland, before the route brings you back to Killarney via the incredible Inch beach
Jaunting cars (horse and carriage) are a fantastic way to see the sights in Killarney and an authentic insight into traditional Ireland, long before motors!
The Gap of Dunlop, the gap of the common land, here the roads are narrow so jaunting cars would be perfect! It takes you through the mountains, beautiful lakes and valleys of Kerry.
At the foot of these mountains are the magical 3 lakes of Killarney, they are known world-wide for their beauty. The only way to experience these lakes is by boat. The ‘meeting of waters’ is where these 3 famous lakes converge, the Upper lake, Middle Lake (also known as Muckross Lake) and Lower Lake (Lough Leane). The tour of the lakes leads back to the town of Killarney.
The next tour day will bring you to Blarney in county Cork and the very famous ritual of kissing the Blarney stone in Blarney Castle and an opportunity to also visit Blarney Woolen Mills. The ritual of kissing the stone has been performed by millions of people. According to legend whoever kisses the Blarney Stone is ‘gifted with eloquence and persuasiveness’.
In the past it wasn’t easy to kiss the Blarney stone, visitor’s had to be held by their ankles to reach it, however, nowadays there are iron bars for safety and it’s a little easier to kiss the stone but still involves lying down and kissing it backwards!! After the risky kissing of a stone at a height maybe you’d be ready for the Jameson Whiskey Distillery? Here they make the best whiskey in the world in Middleton co. Cork, while in Ireland you just have to sample the whiskey!
The next day of touring brings you closer to west again to County Limerick. There’s a wonderful village on the outskirts of Limerick called Adare with the prestigious Adare Manor. Adare Manor is a golfer’s dream but for those not as interested in golf, the manor and grounds will keep you occupied for hours.
Adare is a beautiful little village and has many authentic thatched cottages making it very unique. With many cafes, restaurants and pubs with traditional Irish music, it’s easy to see how Adare has remained so popular with tourists for years.
Limerick (the Treaty City) is a medieval City founded by the Normans in 922. It is steeped in history with King John’s Castle, the Treaty Stone and St. Mary’s Cathedral. It achieved the coveted title of City of Culture 2014 something which the locals are very proud of. It is also the home of Munster Rugby and has the famous Thomond Park Stadium. Limerick is the last stop on the tour and what a great way to end it. Slán Abhaile (Safe home)!
That takes us to the end of tour of the Southwest of Ireland and that’s only a taste of what Ireland has to offer. I hope you enjoyed reading about the spectacular places, so now get out there and enjoy Ireland in this beautiful weather!
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